Visual artists’ share of collective licensing royalties increases to 8.7%

    DACS is delighted to announce that the share of royalties owed to visual artists through the collective licensing scheme operated by the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and the Newspaper Licensing Agency’s (NLA) licensing scheme called NLA Media Access has increased on average from 8% to 8.7%. 

    This independent determination follows almost a year long valuation process involving the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS), the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA), the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS), and DACS.

    The Valuation Process – What it means for visual artists

    The division between publishers, authors and visual artists rightsholders of licensing revenues collected by the CLA and NLA has been independently determined for the first time ever. The valuation process set out to determine how revenues for copying text and images in UK publications like books, journals and magazines should be transparently and fairly split between the different rightsholders. Read more here. 

    The final determination came into force on 1 January 2016, and the average new distribution split of revenues, which all parties have agreed and committed to, are set out in the table below. 

    (The amount (£m) shows the value based on last year’s revenue figures.)

    The 8.7% total share of revenues for rightsholders in visual works is broken down into rightsholders’ share across magazines, journals and books by sector. For instance, the share of visual artists’ revenue for magazines is 10%; for journals 1%; books in schools at 16%; books for FE at 15%, books for HE at 4%, etc. with the overall average across these publications equating to the new 8.7% share for visual artists.
    The full determination report can be read here. Tables for revenues on magazines, journals and books by sector can be found on page 23, sections 2.82 and 2.83. The first review of this determination report will take place in 2019 and will focus on journals.

    The valuation process was a result of a dispute earlier last year between DACS and the CLA and its owners PLS and ALCS regarding the longstanding agreement between DACS and the CLA to collect collective licensing revenues from its scheme. (Read more). This led to a successful mediation process where DACS and the CLA signed an interim agreement to guarantee royalties distributed through the DACS Payback scheme to rightsholders in visual works for the 2015 and 2016 distribution years (read more). 

    Following the interim agreement, DACS alongside the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS), the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA), and the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS), participated in the independent valuation process being led by the Arbiter Mark Bezant supported by his company FTI Consulting.

    DACS is very pleased with the result of the determination and the increase in value of the share of collective licensing revenues for visual artists. The process and final determination will ensure that all rightsholders will receive a fair remuneration for their use of works in secondary uses.

    What this means for Payback?

    DACS distributes royalties collected from a variety of collective licensing schemes, the main one being the CLA, to visual artists through our annual Payback scheme.
    Payback is a well-established scheme that DACS has run for almost fifteen years and in 2015 we distributed almost £4.7 million in Payback royalties to over 25,000 visual artists including photographers, illustrators and fine artists amongst others whether they claimed directly or through a picture library or an authorised representative.
    Payback royalties have provided visual artists with a reliable stream of income for over a decade, in a rapidly shifting economic and cultural landscape that has directly impacted artists’ modest wages.
    There continues to be some uncertainty about the future of the Payback scheme as, going forward, DACS may no longer be the sole distributor of collective licensing royalties to visual creators. Also, DACS will be reviewing the Payback scheme to ensure it fully complies with the Collective Rights Management (CRM) Directive due to be implemented into UK law in April 2016.

    However, as DACS continues to make efficiencies and costs savings, we intend to continue to build on our more than 30 years’ experience of safeguarding and increasing royalties to visual creators and their representatives. We believe, DACS will remain the most efficient, reliable and trustworthy broker of royalties, for all visual artists and rightsholders in artistic works, in sustaining their practice and livelihoods.

    Over the next few months we will be in discussions to determine how the CLA revenues will be allocated to any eligible CMO representing visual artists and how the Payback scheme will need to respond to a potential change in this landscape and to the CRM requirements. We will continue to update our members with any relevant details that may have an impact on the future of our Payback scheme.
    DACS will launch the 2016 Payback campaign later this year and we will be in touch with the exact dates.
    If you would like to receive notifications about when it will open next year, please sign up to our mailing list.

    Image: Illustrator Raymond Briggs in his studio. Photograph © Brian Benson

    Posted on by Sebastian May